Taller women are at risk to develop a range of cancers, including breast, ovary, uterus, bowel, blood and skin. “Researchers have found that a woman’s cancer risk rises by 16% for every 4-inch increase in height, regardless of her birth year, socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption, physical activity level and other factors related to cancer development,” according to Tara Thean of Time Health.
The Million Women Study between 1996 and 2001 researched 1.3 million middle aged women to investigate the influence of reproductive and lifestyle factors of women’s health. The women in the study ranged from 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 10 inches, with the average women measuring at 5 feet 5 inches. Over a ten-year period, the women on the taller end developed more cancers than those that were shorter.
While there is not a solid reason for this, researchers have their theories why height can possibly lead to a greater risk of cancer. A high level of growth hormones in women could be a contributing factor to the susceptibility to cancer. Growth hormones from childhood to adulthood may increase the risk of cancer. In addition, height can somewhat be influenced by childhood diet and infections so the same factors could also play a role.